Regular interview question post as part of the common interview questions and answers tips series starting in Nov 2014.
More will follow at different times, so sign-up for the blog posts or the rss feed so you can be one of the first to see them as the questions and answers are posted.
Opener or “Icebreaker”
These are the nice opening questions, traditional and people expect them, all have prepared and feel comfortable answering them. It is also expected that other questions will follow.
Example Question 1
Tell me about your greatest strength, what positive qualities do you think you will bring to the company?
A candidate responding:
- “my strength is being really really detailed orientated, checking and making sure everything is correct.”
- “I work hard and achieve great sales. I have been promoted twice now from local Manchester area sales rep on small accounts and retail shops to the Sales Manager B2B North in just 3 years.”
1: That is interesting, sounds good for a bank and accounts where you work, finance control is important, does everyone work like that? Are some worse or better than others, how do you compare yourself?
In his or her mind, this is a check to see if one person works this way and could potentially be a problem, already someone making mistakes, not efficient and having to check back on work done.
It may also signal something worse, the company has financial issues or a past history which needs to be fully investigated!
2: Oh no, he is good … If he does a great job we cannot promote him! What do we do? This is a one person job for the next five years.
- Does the response match what you expected?
- Do the strength(s) stated match your own organisation and company culture and business way of working?
- A key issue found here early in the interview not openly discussed will lead to a higher possibility for rejection of the offer letter or the company as an employer of choice later.
Job Hunter Candidate Warning
Your work experience level buys you some space, less gets more room to answer or to qualify.
Not answering the question specifically by talking in general terms, or with the use of too many buzz words may act as an alert for the interviewer.
It is not deliberate, it could be nerves, a lack of interview practice, so a little preparation goes a long way.
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